Cork City 2 Longford Town 2
CORK City moved eight points clear at the top of the First Division as they twice battled back from a goal down to earn a 2-2 draw against Longford Town at Turner’s Cross on Friday night.
Goals in each half from Dylan Barnett and Jordan Adeyemo twice edged Town in front but a Barry Coffey brace was enough to earn City a point to extend their lead at the summit albeit they have now played a game more than Galway.
City started promisingly as Murphy caused problems with his pace running into the channels and they would finish the first half strongly as well as Coffey hooked an effort over from close range before he forced goalkeeper Luke Dennison into a fine double save.
But in between those moments, the Rebel Army were second best and Longford punished them by taking the lead with their first strike at goal just shy of the quarter of an hour mark.
A well-worked short corner picked out Dylan Barnett to the left of the penalty area and from there the left back sensationally whipped the ball into the far top right corner of the net, giving Harrington absolutely no chance.
The City keeper was then required to stop striker Jordan Adeyemo’s thunderous hit from distance before he was then needed to stop Shane Elworthy from scoring when he raced through on goal in the 32nd minute as the Town looked to deservedly double their lead.
The visitors were playing the much better, quicker brand of football and Healy would have been pleased to get his side into the dressing room trailing by just the one goal at the interval.
The boss responded by making one change at the break with the struggling Louis Britton being replaced by Darragh Crowley and the Leesiders restarted with more urgency but both Doona and Murphy could only send their respective strikes wide of the bottom right corner from decent positions.
Luke Dennison then produced a miraculous save to deny Coffey’s fierce strike when the number ten was picked out in the box by a Matt Healy corner but the reprieve for Longford was brief as City levelled moments later.
And it was Coffey who got it as he was the quickest to react when Cian Coleman’s shot came back off the underside of the crossbar and he slotted the ball into the back of the Shed End net from a few yards.
Roared on by a crowd of 2,731, City continued to pile forward although they almost fell behind again moments past the hour when Harrington gifted Adeyemo with possession but after being held up by the keeper and a recovering defender, the Town number nine rolled wide of the near post.
But Adeyemo would make no mistake with his next opportunity as he expertly planted his header from Barnett’s excellent cross back across goal and into the bottom left corner to stun the Cross.
City thought they had grabbed an equaliser on 76 minutes when Gilchrist headed in from a Matt Healy corner but referee Gavin Colfer spotted a foul and decided to disallow the finish.
But the league leaders continued to push forward and they grabbed a legitimate leveller late on when Coffey tucked in following Bargary’s long throw-in.
David Harrington; Cian Coleman, Ally Gilchrist, Josh Honohan; Cian Bargary, Kevin O’Connor, Matt Healy, James Doona, Barry Coffey; Louis Britton, Cian Murphy.
Darragh Crowley for Louis Britton (ht), Dylan McGlade for James Doona (67).
Luke Dennison; Shane Elworthy, Mick McDonnell, Michael Barker, Dylan Barnett; Dean McMenamey, Aaron Robinson; Kian Corbally, Sam Verdon, Mark Hanratty; Jordan Adeyemo.
Eric Molloy for Sam Verdon (84), Matthew O’Brien for Jordan Adeyemo (87), Brandon McCann for Dean McMenamey (87).